Koning Arthur

Beoordeling 6.1
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  • Profielwerkstuk door een scholier
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  • 10 december 2001
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  • Cijfer 6.1
  • 94 keer beoordeeld

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King Arthur lived in the fifth century. I could not find his date of birth but he died in a battle in the year 542. In that same year he was succeeded by his cousin.
How was the political situation in that time?
King Arthur seemed to have been a good ruler for his country, he made up rules with Merlin and his people had to follow these rules. The Knights of the Round Table helped Arthur with political issues
King Arthur and his Knights had a lot of quests, they were searching for the Holy Grail but they also had to fight with evil knights and monsters.

As you can read in this essay Arthur had a lot of things to do to protect his people and he seemed to do them very well.
All these things influenced European history as I intend to show in the following pages but first I shall try to explain the legend of Excalibur, who Merlin was, something about the Knights and so on.

Chapter 1 The Legend of Excalibur

1.1.1 What does the name Excalibur mean?
Meaning Cut Steel. The following names are latinised or old Welsh; Excalibor (latinised), Caledfwlch (Welsh), Caledvwlch (Welsh), Caliburnus (latinised), Caliburn (latinised).
Geoffrey of Monmouth was the first to name Arthur's sword 'Caliburn'.
Excalibur is often wrongly described as being the sword in the stone, the sword which Arthur is said to have pulled from a stone in London. The sword from the stone was Arthur's first sword; a sword that indicated Arthur had the right to be king. In legend Excalibur is known as his second sword. Excalibur had the power to protect Arthur from wounding so long as he wore it together with its silver holder. When Arthur received Excalibur, he is told that the two must never be parted. Morgan le Fay stole the sword and gave it to her lover Accolon of Gaul, and threw the scabbard into the lake. The sword was recovered but the scabbard remained lost.
The first sword was reputed to have been broken in a battle.

In the writer Malory's story this sword is given to Arthur, and is known to be his second sword, given to him by the Lady of the Lake.

1.1.2 The Legend
The story begins with a little boy, named Arthur. This boy is the servant of Kay, the son of sir Ector. Kay uses Arthur as a slave; Arthur doesn’t like him very much. One day, when they are training the hawk Cully, something goes wrong. Cully escapes and Arthur stays in the wood to look after him. Arthur gets lost. When it’s dark he comes nearby a little house in the middle of the woods. He enters and meets Merlin, an old sort of wizard. Merlin expected the young boy and wants to help him because he thinks Sir Ector and Kay treat Arthur very badly. Merlin takes Arthur back to Sir Ector and decides to become the servant of Sir Ector and teacher of the little Arthur.
Merlin teaches Arthur to live as a bird, fish and a squirrel. Arthur has a great time.
One day, Kay has a competition, which means a lot to him. He decides to take Arthur with him to be his servant. When they are at the “battlefield” Kay notices that Arthur has lost Kay’s sword. Kay gets really mad at Arthur and gives Arthur the instruction to find him another sword. Arthur runs away and finally he reaches a church. In the garden of the church he sees a stone with a big sword in it. Arthur pulls and pulls and finally he has the sword in his hands and he brings it back to Kay. Sir Ector takes a look at the sword and is shocked. People who stand next to them begin to yell. Arthur does not quite get it until somebody screams “There is a new king!”
The king of England, Uther Pendragon, had recently died (I have not found when) and there was nobody perfect to become king.
The old king had said that the one who could pull the sword out of the stone would become the new king.
From that day, Arthur is the king of England.

1.1.3 Who was Kay?
Kay was also known as Cei, Cai, Keu..
Kay is reputed to be Arthur's foster brother, believed to be the trueborn son of Ector de Sauvage. We know that Arthur was fostered by Kay’s father.
Kay is thought to have become Arthur's steward, definitely a hero in battle.
In early Welsh Arthurian writing he is said to be one of the first warriors to join Arthur, if not the first.
In some of the later Arthurian legends Kay is said to have murdered Llacheu, Arthur's illegitimate son.

1.1.4 More about the Sword
Excalibur was not the famous Sword in the Stone, but a second sword presented to the King by Merddyn (Merlin). He worried that Arthur would fall in battle, so he took the King to a magical lake where a mysterious hand thrust itself up from the water, holding a magnificent sword. It was the Lady of the Lake offering Arthur a magic unbreakable blade, made by an Avalonian elf smith, along with a scabbard, which would protect him as long as he wore it.
Arthur’s wicked half-sister Morgan le Fay stole Excalibur. Though it was recovered, the scabbard was lost forever. Arthur was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. The King then instructed Girflet to return Excalibur to the lake from where it came. However, when questioned about its return, Girflet claimed to have seen nothing unusual. Arthur therefore knew that Girflet had kept Excalibur for himself and sent him back to the Lake once more. He throws the sword into the lake, Girflet saw the mystic hand appear to catch Excalibur and it was drawn beneath the water for the last time.

1.1.5 Ancient Origins and their influence on European history
Legendary figures throughout the world are associated with magical swords, they are often the symbol of their Kingship.
King Arthur’s tale is similar to the Norse Legend of Sigurd (a Norse king), but even closer to an Irish man, Cú Chulainn who also had a sword, named Caladbolg. Such swords were usually said to have been made by an elfin smith. In Saxon mythology his name is Wayland, but to the Celts he was Gofannon. He is also to be identified with the Roman Vulcan and Greek Hephaestus who made magical weapons for the Muses to give to Perseus.
The deposition of swords, weaponry and other valuables in sacred lakes and rivers was a popular practice amongst the Celtic peoples. Some people believe that such rituals were part of Celtic funerary rites. Archaeological finds of metalwork deposits at Llyn Fawr in Morgannwg (Wales) include axes and sickles of around 600 BC. Further weaponry was discovered at Llyn Cerrig Bach on Ynys Mon (Anglesey) dating from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD.

1.2.1 Merlin
Merlin was believed to be based upon a northern Welsh personage of legend named Myrddin. (Northern Welsh England is today known as Cumberland.) In this one of many legends it is believed that he became a prophet after wandering in misery for fifty years with only the company of a wild piglet.
Merlin in many different books and texts is placed in different times to help three Kings of England; Aurelius, Uther Pendragon, and later Uther's son Arthur.
From research there is very little known of Merlin’s family, it is believed his mother was Aldan and according to different legends Merlin had a twin sister Ganieda (Gwendydd). However, nobody knows when Merlin has lived. It is stated in one story that he had a daughter called Inogen. Some legends tell that Merlin was perhaps the child of a daemon and an earthly woman.
Vivienne, a Lady of the Lake, was the woman Merlin truly loved, but who used him and then trapped him in a thorn bush, some say a Hawthorn tree, by use of the same magical spells that Merlin had taught her. Other legends say that Merlin's death, some say madness, was brought about by Vivienne.
Merlin, Arthur's adviser, is known to be a shaman, magician and guardian. Some people describe Merlin as an advisor and counsellor to Arthur. Merlin is also believed to have been the guardian of the Thirteen Treasures of Britain which he stored in a glass tower on Bardsey Island.
Some people wrote that Merlin was the child of the Devil himself. Merlin turned his back on what were referred to as the evil and dark forces to go with the power of the light and goodness. Because of this he lost many of the powers he had gained from his father and was left with only two powers, both of which it is implied he possessed in great power
One of the Arthurian romantic legends reveals Merlin's involvement in the rise of Arthur to the position of High King of Britain following his being brought-up by Ector de Sauvage.

1.2.2 Dragon Legend 1
Closely related to Merlin is the Dragon. There is confusion about the name as the ninth-century chronicler Nennius mentions a boy called Ambrosius who predicted the defeat of the Britons by the Saxons. This boy was said to have also disagreed with the Druids of Vortigern when they were looking to rebuild Vortigern's Tower, which kept falling down. The Druids believed that the foundations would only be strong if they were sealed by the blood of a child with no father, and so they thought of Merlin, he had no earthly father. Merlin saved his own life by stating that the tower kept falling down because it was built on top of two dragons fighting one red, one white. (They could be seen as symbolic of the constant fighting between the Saxons and the Britons.)

1.2.3 Dragon Legend 2
A similar story, based upon the two dragons and a castle, appears in a Welsh legend. A Welsh King called Gwrtheyn who, running from his own people, is said to have had problems building a castle (each night the building materials disappeared). Merlin as a young boy was taken to the castle to spill his blood on the foundation, and again the story tells of two dragons, one red, and one white. It is believed by many that this is the very legend that inspired the emblem of Wales. The King moves on to build a new one Nant Gwrtheyn, and it is Merlin who builds on the original
hill which is named Dinas Emrys.
I have included these two legends because Merlin has had influence on the weapon of Wales. The colors of the two fighting dragons are also in the Welsh weapon.

Chapter 2 The Knights of the Round Table

2.1.1 Round Table
There are many legends surrounding the Round Table itself and the Knights who swore allegiance to Arthur meeting around it twice a year before setting off on their quests to find The Grail.
Some legends tell that Merlin made the table for Uther Pendragon. It is then believed to have been given by Uther to Leodegraunce as a gift to Arthur.
Merlin was believed responsible for developing the idea of the Round Table with Arthur, and the code of chivalry, which exists of the best Knights of the land.
This code was based on rules, made for the Knights. With this code the Knights learned manners. The table was said to have been made so of that no one had presidency over another, in the same way as the meeting of chiefs in Celtic tradition.
The meetings were held at Arthur's court where mortals and otherworldly folk would meet., and said to involve the majority of the Knights overseen by Arthur.

2.1.2 The Knights
Here is a list of the Knights of the Round Table. Sources do not always agree on the number of knights. Some say that there were 24, some say 28, and some say only 12. I have found 30 names on the Internet.

La Cote
Patrick of Ireland

Sources do not agree on which were members, either. The only ones that hold a place on the Round Table in all listings are Lancelot, Galahad, Ector, Kay, and Bors. A case could be made for Modred, son and nephew of Arthur, but since he only desired
to destroy Arthur, he is not included.

2.2.1 The Holy Grail
The Grail. The Holy Chalice. The Cauldron. Sangrail. Sangreal. Sang-real. The Holy Grail. The Cup of the Last Supper. The Cup of the Crucifixion
The origin of the Legend of The Holy Grail is believed to belong to the ancient Britons probably of Welsh and Celtic heritage as known in Goidelic and Brythonic myths.
The term Grail itself is believed to originate from the Latin gradale meaning a dish used during a meal.
In the Norman Arthurian legends the names and locations are very similar to the ancient legends. The location of The Graal, or The Grail was known in ancient legend as being in the ownership of Pelles, being secured in the Peaked Castle, or Horned Castle.
The Grail had the ability to; heal the sick, or in Arthur's case, the mortally wounded; the power to ensure that all who are worthy enough to approach it remain youthful; and the power to provide lots of food of any type except for those who are not yet worthy to eat from it or approach it. Here we see the Christian influence, with only those being strong enough and pure of mind, body and spirit being able to seek and approach the Grail. This is also about the spiritual quest of the Christian Knights of the Round Table, men who were strong in both faith and action.
The Grail legends can be seen to be symbolic of the need to underpin the faith of the people at this time.
In Norman and Christian Arthurian legend, The Quest for the Holy Grail, or The Grail, is a search for a magical cup, which brings enlightenment, brought by Joseph of Arimathea to Britain. A few stories tell of the cup being brought by angels from heaven and given to sacred Knights, perhaps the Knights of the Round Table, or their earlier counterparts.
Only the pure were said to have been able to approach the cup, anyone else approaching it would simply see it disappear before their eyes.
The Christian Grail romances became most popular during the late twelfth to early thirteenth-century, with Robert de Borron being the first poet to truly provide a new angle on the legends of Arthur, he describes the whole legend to that of seeking the Grail Dish upon which the food of the Last Supper was served to the disciples. Borron is viewed as having been the first to identify the significance of The Grail in Joseph d'Arimathie, also known as Le Roman de l'Estoire douGraal.
Others have viewed Arthur's achievement as symbolising the resurrection and the rebirth, perhaps even reincarnation, through the passage of life to death and on to the spirit, from Abred to Annwn to Gwynvyd, the Soul-plane.
Similar vessels can be found in ancient belief systems, such as Medea of ancient Greek mythology, and the very Mimir's Well itself in Norse legends. These Cauldrons required a sacrifice to be made before the drops could be taken, either spiritually, physically or metaphorically, as one of the main powers that could be sought was the opportunity to be brought back to life from death.
The Quest for The Holy Grail continues , some believing that it will never be found yet others investing hope that its location will be revealed. Some firmly believe that it was thrown into the Chalice Well. The search for the Cauldron too continues although it has been said that it can never be found as it lies in the ocean of the past.

2.2.2 More information about the Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is considered to be the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper and the one used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch his blood as he hung on the cross. This significance, was introduced into the Arthurian legends by Robert de Boron in his verse romance Joseph d'Arimathie, which was probably written in the last decade of the twelfth century or the first couple of years of the thirteenth. In earlier sources and in some later ones, the grail is something very different. The term grail comes from the Latin gradale, which meant a dish brought to the table during various stages (Latin gradus) or courses of a meal. In Chrétien and other early writers, such a plate is intended by the term grail. Chrétien, for example, speaks of un graal, a grail or platter and thus not a unique item. Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival presents the grail as a stone, which prevents anyone who beholds it from dying within the week. In medieval romance, the grail was said to have been brought to Glastonbury in Britain by Joseph of Arimathea and his followers. In the time of Arthur, the quest for the Grail was the highest spiritual pursuit
The Legend of King Arthur is more than just Celtic myth; it is now an international phenomenon. To many people he was merely a symbol of bravery and good, to others a god. But the story has become a success, a timeless tale, successful in all mediums, most notably from Hollywood.

I think that the legend gives us more indication of Celtic ancestors, it also brings together many of the early civilisations. Most ancient civilisations tell the same tails of heroes and deeds. Most have their own character that guides them, who teaches them their true nature. The Legend of Arthur can be told in many ancient civilisations and probably it was. So who was Arthur, looking back into known history there are many characters that would make a suitable base for Arthur.Arthur is a righteous man, a man of conscience, and a man who believes in people, so much so that he allowed himself to be betrayed by a friend. Arthur soon realises that he and the land are one.
What of Merlin, the magician? Perhaps even a Druid, Merlin had powers and an understanding that today we have lost. I do not believe for one minute that he could conjure mighty dragons to do battle against the enemy, but he knew what the Dragon was. He was a philosopher, he understood natural medicine he was a wise man The Story of King Arthur is not pure legend because there are a lot of facts about him such as I mentioned. We only never have found bones from him so we can not prove that he has existed.There is a lot of evidence from Arthur in our culture, for instance place names and the stories collected by Sir Thomas Malory in 1485 so you have to believe that there must have been a man like Arthur. The legend of King Arthur still has influence on the way we deal with each other.Arthur plays a very important part in the Christian values. You can find that back in associations like “The Knights of the Round Table”, a service groop from the “rotary” (these people are rich and want to help the poor).There are also a lot of films made about Arthur and Camelot, for example:Monthy Python and the Holy Grail and Excalibur (John Boorman).Every year new series are made about Arthur and Merlin, new films, new games and new books.So as you can see, Arthur is still a very important man in our life, A lot of people still think that all these things are made up. I think that there once was an Arthur, there are too many facts about him.


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Wat een goed werkstuk, zeg! had je het boek 'nevelen van Avalon' soms gelezen?

19 jaar geleden



Echt bedankt voor je profielwerkstuk, nu kan ik tenminste examen doen.
gr. -xxx- Pinky17

19 jaar geleden



Hey Carlien!
is dit je hele werkstuk?
en wat voor een punt kreeg je hiervoor?

19 jaar geleden



Hoi Carlien,

volgend jaar (6vwo) moet ik mijn PWS gaan maken. Ik heb als onderwerp Koning Arthur, en ik zag dat jij dat dus al een keer hebt gedaan.
Zou je me misschien kunnen vertellen welke bronnen je hebt gebruikt?


18 jaar geleden



Dag Carlien,

Meester raaf, in ’t wilgenboschjen,

Hield een kaashomp in den bek.

Reintjen rook het : in zoo’n kostjen

Had de snoepert ook wel trek.

"Wees gegroet!" zei ’t looze vosjen,

"Waarde Heer Van Ravenhorst!

"Edel voorhoofd, fiere borst,

"Om uw schoonheid nooit volprezen!

"Is uw zangstem ook zoo mooi

"Als uw rijke vedertooi,

"Dan moet gij een Fenix wezen!"

Door dit allervriendelijkste woord

Voelt de raaf zich veel bekoord.

Nu, zijn stem - die moest bevallen.

Rein zou ’t hooren! Een, twee, drie,

Opent hij den bek - maar zie!

Mèt laat hij zijn kaashomp vallen.

Reintjen smult en lekt zijn baard :

"Weet, amice! vleiers fleemen

"Om hun hoorders beet te memen.

"Zulk een lesjen, bij mijn staart!

"Is toch wel een kaashomp waard."

En de raaf? - werd bijster kwaad,

En hij zwoer nooit van zijn leven

Vleiers meer gehoor te geven.

- Goed! Maar ’t was een beetjen laat.

Herinner je je deze nog? Het is echt een van mijn favorieten en Sara is er ook al helemaal fan van!

Volgende week naar Parijs met de kindertjesss. Wat een dolle pret zullen we daar weer beleven.

Prachtig profielwerkstuk, dat had Masjah zelf niet beter kunnen doen.

Maar nu maak ik er een einde aan (jawel, aan dit bericht) want eigenlijk mag je niet op Scholieren.com surfen van Bianca.

Met liefdevolle groet,

Chr. de Milliano
ps. je mag je antwoord aan Sara doorgeven, dan brieft zij dat wel aan mij door hoor.

17 jaar geleden



heej Carlien mooie werkstuk heb je daar gemaakt,maar als het Nederlands was hadden veel mensen er iets aan gehad

15 jaar geleden